Trishna Restaurant – Mumbai
I know that this is supposed to be a wine blog but please forgive my indulgence in writing a brief post on a superb dining experience I had in Mumbai last night. I spend plenty of time in India, usually in Delhi but also a fair bit in Mumbai and I’m always on the look out for places to go in this remarkably vibrant city. It saddens me that many of my colleagues venture no further than the air-conditioned luxury of the Taj Lands End hotel in Bhandra and are unwilling to explore what the city has to offer. It may take a bit of effort to get around, it’s noisy, filthy in places, and utterly chaotic but there is a distinct vibe and energy to Mumbai that gives it a unique feel. And then there’s the food….
Given a firm recommendation by @TableforOne on Twitter to go to Trishna, I headed off there with one of my more adventurous fellow pilots. There was no need for a menu as Pooja had told us exactly what to have, ….. crab.
‘Will this one do sir?’
The waiter brought out what appeared to be some sort of monster plucked from the depths of a subduction oceanic trench, one claw tied up with rope and the other clacking furiously, ready to sever my head cleanly!
The next time I saw this crab, it had been taken away and cooked in lashings of garlic butter and ginger. The meat was succulent, tender and glistened with a sheen of melted butter. The ginger complimented the crab giving a fresh spiciness to the dish, enhanced by black pepper and perfectly cooked naan bread lending a satisfying crunch.
However, first up was Squid Koliwadi. Mildly spiced with cumin and red chilli, the fresh squid was as tender as I have had anywhere – it simply melted away in the mouth contrasting with the crunchy, spicy batter and finishing with a sweet smoky aspect.
Pomfret Tikka came in quick succession. Succulent again, the fish was just cooked and juicy throughout. There’s a step up in the heat level but the tikka spices and smoky edge were finely judged. Delicious!
We were instructed to order the Hyderabadi Dhal to accompany the crab which turned out to be an inspired choice. The lentils had a creamy, buttery texture but with depths of flavour I hadn’t thought possible with a dish that is essentially a side order. The dhal had a clear spicy backbone, but the cumin and coriander that it was laced with, offered an intriguing interplay with the gentle heat. The combination of the crab and the dhal transitioned into a seamless dish of its own, balanced flavours, silky texture, sweet meat, gentle spices, full and creamy yet somehow retaining a freshness that delighted the senses.
The decor may be shabby and the wine list a bit of a disaster, but the Kingfisher worked just fine for our purposes and I’m confident that I’ll be seeing this restaurant again in the near future. Highly recommended!